Harry Potter Stuff.

Harry Potter Stuff.

This is for when I'm having Post-Potter Depression. The picture beside the title? See that? Pretend I'm Snape and Lily is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I do that sometimes.


"I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you."

Chapter 4

Chapter 33- The Prince's Tale I

Harry glanced hopelessly at Dumbledore’s deserted frame, which hung directly behind the headmaster’s chair, then turned his back on it. The stone Pensieve lay in the cabinet where it had always been. Harry heaved it onto the desk and poured Snape’s memories into the wide basin with its runic markings around the edge. To escape into someone else’s head would be a blessed relief… Nothing that even Snape had left him could be worse than his own thoughts. The memories swirled, silver white and strange,and without hesitating, with a feeling of reckless abandonment, as though this would assuage his torturing grief, Harry dived.

He fell headlong into sunlight, and his feet found warm ground. When he straightened up, he saw that he was in a nearly deserted playground. A single huge chimney dominated the distant skyline. Two girls were swinging backward and forward, and a skinny boy was watching them from behind a clump of bushes. His black hair was overlong and his clothes were so mismatched that it looked deliberate: too short jeans, a shabby, overlarge coat that might have belonged to a grown man, an odd smocklike shirt.

Harry moved closer to the boy. Snape looked no more than nine or ten years old, sallow, small, stringy. There was undisguised greed in his thin face as he watched the younger of the two girls swinging higher and higher than her sister.

“Lily, don’t do it!” shrieked the elder of the two.

But the girl had let go of the swing at the very height of its arc and flown into the air, quite literally flown, launched herself skyward with a great shout of laughter, and instead of crumpling on the playground asphalt, she soared like a trapeze artist through the air, staying up far too long, landing far too lightly.

“Mummy told you not to!”

Petunia stopped her swing by dragging the heels of her sandals on the ground, making a crunching, grinding sound, then leapt up, hands on hips.

“Mummy said you weren’t allowed, Lily!”

“But I’m fine,” said Lily, still giggling. “Tuney, look at this. Watch what I can do.”

Petunia glanced around. The playground was deserted apart from themselves and, though the girls did not know it, Snape. Lily had picked up a fallen flower from the bush behind which Snape lurked. Petunia advanced, evidently torn between curiosity and disapproval. Lily waited until Petunia was near enough to have a clear view, then held out her palm. The flower sat there, opening and closing its petals, like some bizarre, many-lipped oyster.

“Stop it!” shrieked Petunia.

“It’s not hurting you,” said Lily, but she closed her hand on the blossom and threw it back to the ground.

“It’s not right,” said Petunia, but her eyes had followed the flower’s flight to the ground and lingered upon it. “How do you do it?” she added, and there was definite longing in her voice.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Snape could no longer contain himself, but had jumped out from behind the bushes. Petunia shrieked and ran backward toward the swings, but Lily, though clearly startled, remained where she was. Snape seemed to regret his appearance. A dull flush of color mounted the sallow cheeks as he looked at Lily.

“What’s obvious?” asked Lily.

Snape had an air of nervous excitement. With a glance at the distant Petunia, now hovering beside the swings, he lowered his voice and said, “I know what you are.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re…you’re a witch,” whispered Snape.

She looked affronted.

“That’s not a very nice thing to say to somebody!”

She turned, nose in the air, and marched off toward her sister.

“No!” said Snape. He was highly colored now, and Harry wondered why he did not take off the ridiculously large coat, unless it was because he did not want to reveal the smock beneath it. He flapped after the girls, looking ludicrously batlike, like his older self.

The sisters considered him, united in disapproval, both holding on to one of the swing poles, as though it was the safe place in tag.

“You are,” said Snape to Lily. “You are a witch. I’ve been watching you for a while. But there’s nothing wrong with that. My mum’s one, and I’m a wizard.”

Petunia’s laugh was like cold water.

“Wizard!” she shrieked, her courage returned now that she had recovered from the shock of his unexpected appearance. “I know who you are. You’re that Snape boy! They live down Spinner’s End by the river,” she told Lily, and it was evident from her tone that she considered the address a poor recommendation. “Why have you been spying on us?”

“Haven’t been spying,” said Snape, hot and uncomfortable and dirty-haired in the bright sunlight. “Wouldn’t spy on you, anyway,” he added spitefully, “you’re a Muggle.”

Though Petunia evidently did not understand the word, she could hardly mistake the tone.

“Lily, come on, we’re leaving!” she said shrilly. Lily obeyed her sister at once, glaring at Snape as she left. He stood watching them as they marched through the playground gate, and Harry, the only one left to observe him, recognized Snape’s bitter disappointment, and understood that Snape had been planning this moment for a while, and that it had all gone wrong…

The scene dissolved, and before Harry knew it, re-formed around him. He was now in a small thicket of trees. He could see a sunlit river glittering through their trunks. The shadows cast by the trees made a basin of cool green shade. Two children sat facing each other, cross-legged on the ground. Snape had removed his coat now; his odd smock looked less pecular in the half light.

“…and the Ministry can punish you if you do magic outside school, you get letters.”

“But I have done magic outside school!”

“We’re all right. We haven’t got wands yet. They let you off when you’re a kid and you can’t help it. But once you’re eleven,” he nodded importantly, “and they start training you, then you’ve got to go careful.”

There was a little silence. Lily had picked up a fallen twig and twirled it in the air, and Harry knew that she was imagining sparks trailing from it. Then she dropped the twig, leaned in toward the boy, and said, “It is real, isn’t it? It’s not a joke? Petunia says you’re lying to me. Petunia says there isn’t a Hogwarts. It is real, isn’t it?”

“It’s real for us,” said Snape. “Not for her. But we’ll get the letter, you and me.”

“Really?” whispered Lily.

“Definitely,” said Snape, and even with his poorly cut hair and his odd clothes, he struck an oddly impressive figure sprawled in front of her, brimful of confidence in his destiny.

“And will it really come by owl?” Lily whispered.

“Normally,” said Snape. “But you’re Muggle-born, so someone from the school will have to come and explain to your parents.”

“Does it make a difference, being Muggle-born?”

Snape hesitated. His black eyes, eager in the greenish gloom, moved over the pale face, the dark red hair.

“No,” he said. “It doesn’t make any difference.”

“Good,” said Lily, relaxing. It was clear that she had been worrying.

“You’ve got loads of magic,” said Snape. “I saw that. All the time I was watching you…”

His voice trailed away; she was not listening, but had stretched out on the leafy ground and was looking up at the canopy of leaves overhead. He watched her as greedily as he had watched her in the playground.

“How are things at your house?” Lily asked.

A little crease appeared between his eyes.

“Fine,” he said.

“They’re not arguing anymore?”

“Oh yes, they’re arguing,” said Snape. He picked up a fistful of leaves and began tearing them apart, apparently unaware of what he was doing. “But it won’t be that long and I’ll be gone.”

“Doesn’t your dad like magic?”

“He doesn’t like anything, much,” said Snape.

“Severus?”

A little smile twisted Snape’s mouth when she said his name.

“Yeah?”

“Tell me about the dementors again.”

“What d’you want to know about them for?”

“If I use magic outside school – ”

“They wouldn’t give you to the dementors for that! Dementors are for people who do really bad stuff. They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. You’re not going to end up in Azkaban, you’re too – ”

He turned red again and shredded more leaves. Then a small rustling noise behind Harry made him turn: Petunia, hiding behind a tree, had lost her footing.

“Tuney!” said Lily, surprise and welcome in her voice, but Snape had jumped to his feet.

“Who’s spying now?” he shouted. “What d’you want?”

Petunia was breathless, alarmed at being caught. Harry could see her struggling for something hurtful to say.

“What is that you’re wearing, anyway?” she said, pointing at Snape’s chest. “Your mum’s blouse?”

There was a crack. A branch over Petunia’s head had fallen. Lily screamed. The branch caught Petunia on the shoulder, and she staggered backward and burst into tears.

“Tuney!”

But Petunia was running away. Lily rounded on Snape.

“Did you make that happen?”

“No.” He looked both defiant and scared.

“You did!” She was backing away from him. “You did! You hurt her!”

“No – no, I didn’t!”

But the lie did not convince Lily. After one last burning look, she ran from the little thicket, off after her sister, and Snape looked miserable and confused…

And the scene re-formed. Harry looked around. He was on platform nine and three quarters, and Snape stood beside him, slightly hunched, next to a thin, sallow-faced, sour-looking woman who greatly resembled him. Snape was staring at a family of four a short distance away. The two girls stood a little apart from their parents. Lily seemed to be pleading with her sister. Harry moved closer to listen.

“…I’m sorry, Tuney, I’m sorry! Listen – ” She caught her sister’s hand and held tight to it, even though Petunia tried to pull it away. “Maybe once I’m there – no, listen, Tuney! Maybe once I’m there, I’ll be able to go to Professor Dumbledore and persuade him to change his mind!”

“I don’t – want – to – go!” said Petunia, and she dragged her hand back out of her sister’s grasp. “You think I want to go to some stupid castle and learn to be a – a…”

Her pale eyes roved over the platform, over the cats mewling in their owners’ arms, over the owls, fluttering and hooting at each other in cages, over the students, some already in their long black robes, loading trunks onto the scarlet steam engine or else greeting one another with glad cries after a summer apart.

“ – you think I want to be a – a freak?”

Lily’s eyes filled with tears as Petunia succeeded in tugging her hand away.

“I’m not a freak,” said Lily. “That’s a horrible thing to say.”

“That’s where you’re going,” said Petunia with relish. “A special school for freaks. You and that Snape boy…weirdos, that’s what you two are. It’s good you’re being separated from normal people. It’s for our safety.”

Lily glanced toward her parents, who were looking around the platform with an air of wholehearted enjoyment, drinking in the scene. Then she looked back at her sister, and her voice was low and fierce.

“You didn’t think it was such a freak’s school when you wrote to the headmaster and begged him to take you.”

Petunia turned scarlet.

“Beg? I didn’t beg!”

“I saw his reply. It was very kind.”

“You shouldn’t have read – ” whispered Petunia, “that was my private – how could you – ?”

Lily gave herself away by half-glancing toward where Snape stood nearby. Petunia gasped.

“That boy found it! You and that boy have been sneaking in my room!”

“No – not sneaking – ” Now Lily was on the defensive. “Severus saw the envelope, and he couldn’t believe a Muggle could have contacted Hogwarts, that’s all! He says there must be wizards working undercover in the postal service who take care of – ”

“Apparently wizards poke their noses in everywhere!” said Petunia, now as pale as she had been flushed. “Freak!” she spat at her sister, and she flounced off to where her parents stood…

The scene dissolved again. Snape was hurrying along the corridor of the Hogwarts Express as it clattered through the countryside. He had already changed into his school robes, had perhaps taken the first opportunity to take off his dreadful Muggle clothes. At last he stopped, outside a compartment in which a group of rowdy boys were

talking. Hunched in a corner seat beside the window was Lily, her face pressed against the windowpane.

Snape slid open the compartment door and sat down opposite Lily. She glanced at him and then looked back out of the window. She had been crying.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” she said in a constricted voice.

“Why not?”

“Tuney h-hates me. Because we saw that letter from Dumbledore.”

“So what?”

She threw him a look of deep dislike.

“So she’s my sister!”

“She’s only a – ” He caught himself quickly; Lily, too busy trying to wipe her eyes without being noticed, did not hear him.

“But we’re going!” he said, unable to suppress the exhilaration in his voice. “This is it! We’re off to Hogwarts!”

She nodded, mopping her eyes, but in spite of herself, she half smiled.

“You’d better be in Slytherin,” said Snape, encouraged that she had brightened a little.

“Slytherin?”

One of the boys sharing the compartment, who had shown no interest at all in Lily or Snape until that point, looked around at the word, and Harry, whose attention had been focused entirely on the two beside the window, saw his father: slight, black-haired like Snape, but with that indefinable air of having been well-cared-for, even adored, that Snape so conspicuously lacked.

“Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” James asked the boy lounging on the seats opposite him, and with a jolt, Harry realized that it was Sirius. Sirius did not smile.

“My whole family have been in Slytherin,” he said.

“Blimey,” said James, “and I thought you seemed all right!”

Sirius grinned.

“Maybe I’ll break the tradition. Where are you heading, if you’ve got the choice?”

James lifted an invisible sword.

“‘Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!’ Like my dad.”

Snape made a small, disparaging noise. James turned on him.

“Got a problem with that?”

“No,” said Snape, though his slight sneer said otherwise. “If you’d rather be brawny than brainy – ”

“Where’re you hoping to go, seeing as you’re neither?” interjected Sirius.

James roared with laughter. Lily sat up, rather flushed, and looked from James to Sirius in dislike.

“Come on, Severus, let’s find another compartment.”

“Oooooo…”

James and Sirius imitated her lofty voice; James tried to trip Snape as he passed.

“See ya, Snivellus!” a voice called, as the compartment door slammed…

And the scene dissolved once more…

Harry was standing right behind Snape as they faced the candlelit House tables, lined with rapt faces. Then Professor McGonagall said, “Evans, Lily!”

He watched his mother walk forward on trembling legs and sit down upon the rickety stool. Professor McGonagall dropped the Sorting Hat onto her head, and barely a second after it had touched the dark red hair, the hat cried, “Gryffindor!”

Harry heard Snape let out a tiny groan. Lily took off the hat, handed it back to Professor McGonagall, then hurried toward the cheering Gryffindors, but as she went she glanced back at Snape, and there was a sad little smile on her face. Harry saw Sirius move up the bench to make room for her. She took one look at him, seemed to recognize him from the train, folded her arms, and firmly turned her back on him.

The roll call continued. Harry watched Lupin, Pettigrew, and his father join Lily and Sirius at the Gryffindor table. At last, when only a dozen students remained to be sorted, Professor McGonagall called Snape.

Harry walked with him to the stool, watched him place the hat upon his head. “Slytherin!” cried the Sorting Hat.

And Severus Snape moved off to the other side of the Hall, away from Lily, to where the Slytherins were cheering him, to where Lucius Malfoy, a prefect badge gleaming upon his chest, patted Snape on the back as he sat down beside him…

And the scene changed…

Lily and Snape were walking across the castle courtyard, evidently arguing. Harry hurried to catch up with them, to listen in. As he reached them, he realized how much taller they both were. A few years seemed to have passed since their Sorting.

“…thought we were supposed to be friends?” Snape was saying, “Best friends?”

“We are, Sev, but I don’t like some of the people you’re hanging round with! I’m sorry, but I detest Avery and Mulciber! Mulciber! What do you see in him, Sev, he’s creepy! D’you know what he tried to do to Mary Macdonald the other day?”

Lily had reached a pillar and leaned against it, looking up into the thin, sallow face.

“That was nothing,” said Snape. “It was a laugh, that’s all – ”

“It was Dark Magic, and if you think that’s funny – ”

“What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to?” demanded Snape. His color rose again as he said it, unable, it seemed, to hold in his resentment.

“What’s Potter got to do with anything?” said Lily.

“They sneak out at night. There’s something weird about that Lupin. Where does he keep going?”

“He’s ill,” said Lily. “They say he’s ill – ”

“Every month at the full moon?” said Snape.

“I know your theory,” said Lily, and she sounded cold. “Why are you so obsessed with them anyway? Why do you care what they’re doing at night?”

“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”

The intensity of his gaze made her blush.

“They don’t use Dark Magic, though.” She dropped her voice. “And you’re being really ungrateful. I heard what happened the other night. You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatever’s down there – ”

Snape’s whole face contorted and he spluttered, “Saved? Saved? You think he was playing the hero? He was saving his neck and his friends’ too! You’re not going to – I won’t let you – ”

“Let me? Let me?”

Lily’s bright green eyes were slits. Snape backtracked at once.

“I didn’t m ean – I just don’t want to see you made a fool of – He fancies you, James Potter fancies you!” The words seemed wrenched from him against his will. “And he’s not…everyone thinks…big Quidditch hero – ” Snape’s bitterness and dislike were rendering him incoherent, and Lily’s eyebrows were traveling farther and farther up her forehead.

“I know James Potter’s an arrogant toerag,” she said, cutting across Snape. “I don’t need you to tell me that. But Mulciber’s and Avery’s idea of humor is just evil. Evil, Sev. I don’t understand how you can be friends with them.”

Harry doubted that Snape had even heard her strictures on Mulciber and Avery. The moment she had insulted James Potter, his whole body had relaxed, and as they walked away there was a new spring in Snape’s step…

And the scene dissolved…

Harry watched again as Snape left the Great Hall after sitting his O.W.L. in Defense Against the Dark Arts, watched as he wandered away from the castle and strayed inadvertently close to the place beneath the beech tree where James, Sirius, Lupin, and Pettigrew sat together. But Harry kept his distance this time, because he knew what happened after James had hoisted Severus into the air and taunted him; he knew what had been done and said, and it gave him no pleasure to hear it again… He watched as Lily joined the group and went to Snape’s defense. Distantly he heard Snape shout at her in his humiliation and his fury, the unforgivable word: “Mudblood.”

The scene changed…

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not interested.”

“I’m sorry!”

“Save your breath”

It was nighttime. Lily, who was wearing a dressing gown, stood with her arms folded in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady, at the entrance to Gryffindor Tower.

“I only came out because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here.”

“I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just – ”

“Slipped out?” There was no pity in Lily’s voice. “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends – you see, you don’t even deny it! You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be! You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?”

He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.

“I can’t pretend anymore. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”

“No – listen, I didn’t mean – ”

“ – to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?”

He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole…

The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone… His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for –

Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air. Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand.

“Don’t kill me!”

“That was not my intention.”

Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand.

“Well, Severus? What message does Lord Voldemort have for me?”

“No – no message – I’m here on my own account!”

Snape was wringing his hands. He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him.

“I – I come with a warning – no, a request – please – ”

Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other.

“What request could a Death Eater make of me?”

“The – the prophecy…the prediction…Trelawney…”

“Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?”

“Everything – everything I heard!” said Snape. “That is why – it is for that reason – he thinks it means Lily Evans!”

“The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July – ”

“You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down – kill them all – ”

“If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?”

“I have – I have asked him – ”

“You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?”

Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore.

“Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her – them – safe. Please.”

“And what will you give me in return, Severus?”

“In – in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.”

The hilltop faded, and Harry stood in Dumbledore’s office, and something was making a terrible sound, like a wounded animal. Snape was slumped forward in a chair and Dumbledore was standing over him, looking grim. After a moment or two, Snape raised his face, and he looked like a man who had lived a hundred years of misery since leaving the wild hilltop.

“I thought…you were going…to keep her…safe…”

“She and James put their faith in the wrong person,” said Dumbledore. “Rather like you, Severus. Weren’t you hoping that Lord Voldemort would spare her?”

Snape’s breathing was shallow.

“Her boy survives,” said Dumbledore.

With a tiny jerk of the head, Snape seemed to flick off an irksome fly.

“Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans’s eyes, I am sure?”

“DON’T!” bellowed Snape. “Gone…dead…”

“Is this remorse, Severus?”

“I wish…I wish I were dead…”

“And what use would that be to anyone?” said Dumbledore coldly. “If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.”



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